Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Bathymetry and Backscatter from 2013 Interferometric Swath Bathymetry Systems Survey of Columbia River Mouth, Oregon and Washington

December 30, 2015

High-resolution swath bathymetry and backscatter were collected in the Mouth of the Columbia River (MCR) as part of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) funded River and Inlet Dynamics Experiment in 2013. The goal of the U.S. Geological Survey's component of the research was to evaluate the various hydrodynamic and sediment transport processes in the Columbia River estuary entrance using a combination of field observations coupled with Delft3D model simulations. The MCR is a dynamic estuary inlet with large waves, large tidal currents, and a significant river discharge, resulting in a strong estuarine circulation. The field component of the study consisted of an intensive in-situ experiment with bottom-mounted instrument tripods, mobile instrument platforms, GPS-equipped drifters, and collection of spatial maps of bed sediment grain-size and swath surveys of bathymetry and backscatter. The swath bathymetric surveys revealed ubiquitous seafloor bed forms throughout the estuary entrance. The bathymetric data are used to set bottom boundary conditions for the numerical models of hydrodynamics and to explore the characteristics of the seafloor roughness. Bottom roughness is an important boundary condition in hydrodynamic models of shallow environments and bed form size and roughness are poorly predicted. The purpose of this data release is to make available the methods, the meta-data, and the processed bathymetry and backscatter data from the May 13-25, 2013 Interferometric swath survey of the Mouth of the Columbia River.